Propagation & Planting

Propagation & Planting

Propagation & Planting (3)

Plant one year old grafts with the onset of monsoon showers so that they get established before the rains. If rainfall is heavy, planting should be done during August-September.

Select good grafts for planting. Planting can be done according to the square system or hexagonal system. Prepare pits of size 1 x I x 1 m at a spacing of 9 m one month before planting and allow to weather. Refill pits with mixture of topsoil and 10 kg of compost or FYM per pit to a level higher than the adjoining ground. Plant the grafts at the same depths as they were in the containers, preferably in the late evening. Deep planting results in poor growth of the plant. Ensure that the graft joint is above the soil level. Tie the plants to stakes to prevent snapping at the graft joints.

Stone grafting is successful in mango. August is ideal for the operation. Select four month old scion materials. Defoliation of scion shoots 10 days prior to grafting is beneficial. Grafting of 8 cm long scion on rootstocks at a height of 6 to 8 cm is most successful. The dieback disease of grafts caused by Colletotrichum can be controlled by spraying 1 % Bordeaux mixture.

Inarching/ approach grafting: The method consists of uniting the selected shoot (scion) of a desired parent tree (mother plant) with the potted or transplanted seedling (rootstock) by approach grafting. For this purpose, about one-year-old seedlings of about 30-45 cm height and thickness ranging from 0.75 to 1.5 cm is taken. Young and non-bearing trees should not be selected as mother plants.

Inarching should be done during the growing period when the tree is in active sap flow condition termed as active growth period. The end of the monsoon in heavy rainfall areas and early monsoon in the light rainfall areas is the best period for inarching. However, it can be done any time between July and February.

Veneer grafting: For conducting this grafting operation, a downward and inward 30-40 mm long cut is made in the smooth area of the stock at a height of about 20 cm. The scion stick is given a long slanting cut on one side and a small short cut on the other so as to match the cuts of the stock. The scion is inserted in the stock so that the cambium layers come on the longer side. The graft union is then tied with polythene strip as recommended for inarching. After the scion takes and remains green for more than 10 days the rootstock should be clipped in stages.

Budding : Although success of budding in mango was reported in the beginning of this century, budding still continues to remain in experimental stage as far as commercial mango propagation is concerned.

Stone Epicotyl grafting : It is a new technique of mango propagation. This method is simple, cheap and quick. Fresh mango stones are sown in the nursery beds. After germination, seedlings with tender stems having coppery leaves are lifted with stones still attached. The roots and stones are dipped in 0.1 per cent Bavistin solution for 5 minutes after washing the soil. The seedling stems are headed back leaving 6-8 cm long stem. A 4-6 cm longitudinal cut is made running down through the middle of the stem.

A wedge shaped cut starting on both sides is made on the lower part of scion stick. The scion stick should be 4-6 months old and 10-15 cm long having terminal buds. The scion stick is then inserted in the cleft of the seedlings and tied with polythene strips. The grafts are then planted in polyethylene bags containing potting mixture. July is the most suitable month for stone grafting.

Soft-wood grafting : The technique of soft-wood grafting is similar to that of cleft or wedge grafting. In this case, grafting is done on newly emerged flush having bronze coloured leaves and stem. This method is useful in in-situ grafting. The scion wood to be used should be defoliated 10 days prior to the grafting and having same thickness as that of terminal shoot. The graft should be secured firmly using 1.5 cm wide and 4.5 cm long, 200 gauge polythene strip. July and August are the best months for soft-wood grafting.

Air layering : Air layering can be done successfully in mango using IBA or NAA 10,000 ppm in lanolin paste. Success up to 50 per cent has also been obtained by using Seradix-B as root promoter. The air-layers can be used for permanent planting or for raising uniform rootstocks.

Mango is adaptable to a wide range of climate and soil conditions and grows well from sea level up to about 1500 m above mean sea level. It withstands both fairly dry conditions and heavy rainfall.